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October 30, 2016

I Can’t Believe I Did That…


Throughout the years I have built up a sizeable portfolio of ‘I can't believe I did that’ moments whilst travelling. Some of these are funny and some are cringe-worthy, others are embarrassing, stupid or even regrettable. At five months pregnant I am at a time in my life where big changes are on the horizon and where some of my former past travel antics will remain exactly there-in the past. So in the dawn of a more responsible travel approach where baby takes president I share with you a sample of moments from the ‘I can't believe I did that’ bank.


  • Two years ago hubby-to-be and I travelled Israel and Palestine DURING THE WAR. Rockets were blown out of the sky above our heads and there were riots in the streets. Yes, we were crazy, but the trip was booked prior to flights being cancelled and we were determined to go.


  • At Niagara Falls my friend and I went out for dinner and after several attempts to pay the bill and a LONG wait we decided that we would walk to the door and they would finally let us pay. Next thing I knew we were half way down the street having accidentally not paid for a $100 meal. Of course we went back the next morning to settle what we owed.


  • During my road trip down the East Coast of Australia my travel buddy and I purchased a couple of bottles of red wine and consumed the lot. Normally this would cause a morning-after headache at worst, however I hadn't drunk wine in months as I had been traveling in South East Asia (where wine is both expensive and generally horrible). I woke up just as the sun was rising to go to the loo and found that I had vomited all over my rucksack in the night! I quietly dragged my bag out of the dorm room to the communal toilets to clean it. On the way back to the room however I realised that my bra must have slipped out and was on the floor in front of a table that had four men sitting at it, they were all laughing at the mysterious bra so I walked past pretending it wasn't mine! I had one less item of underwear for the rest of the trip.

I Can’t Believe I Did That...

  • I sent my mum a text saying a was going to stay with a friend for a week. I simply failed to mention that it was in South Africa. I was only nineteen and had never left Europe at the time, I'm sure you can imagine her reaction.


  • My husband left me in the ocean, jumping up into the boat quickly to save himself when he saw that a hammerhead shark was swimming towards us whilst snorkelling in the Galápagos ocean. Thankfully I managed to jump out with all limbs intact, but it was a close call-I was almost eaten by a shark!!!


  • I went to celebrate Songkran (the Thai water festival) in Chiang Mai with two of my friends. We bought water pistols and went out in shorts and bikini tops to join in with the nation-wide water fight. The water fight soon turned into a Thai ceremony and parade and we were approached by a local who said that our dress was offensive. I was absolutely MORTIFIED that I was inappropriately dressed and felt terrible for the rest of the evening. Of course we went back to our accommodation immediately to change.

water fight Songkran

  • When landing in to Buenos Aires I watched the temperature rise on the in-flight-entertainment screen as the altitude decreased. Much to my surprise however it stopped at 1 degree. I was wearing flip flops and three-quarter length trousers and hadn't packed anything much warmer. Needless to say I went shopping the following day to buy a hat and scarf.


  • Similarly, my husband and I climbed Mount Toubkal last year. At 4267 meters high my cardigan I bought from Next and worn-out trainers with no grip were totally inappropriate. Thankfully our guide was kind enough to lend me his coat and gloves and hold my hand for the entire decent to prevent me from slipping!


  • When driving to the Dead Sea in Jordan we crashed the hire car. It wasn't our fault but we were forced to contribute a subtle bribe to convince the police to write up the paperwork accurately!


  • When traveling Australia I lived off McDonalds and sushi because I refused to eat baked beans on toast every night in the hostel which was all most of us backpackers could afford.


  • I missed my flight to Poland THREE times! The first time I was late to the gate and had to walk backwards through the airport with my tail dragging behind me. The second time we were snowed in during that year’s annual two days of snowfall. The third time I accidentally booked the flight for the wrong week, thinking it was half term. I'm still yet to make it to Poland.


  • When working as Cabin Crew I forgot to pack my passport… Fortunately nobody at Paris Charles de Gaulle checked…phew!


  • My husband and I didn't just visit the pyramids in Egypt, we actually climbed one. I know, I know, it's really naughty, but the guide told us to and our photos were INCREDIBLE. Of course this is bad for sustainability and I do feel guilty for contributing to the degradation of this ancient history!

climbing a pyramid

  • I accidentally caught a turtle when fishing in Kerala, I was horrified when the staff pulled the hook from its mouth causing it to bleed before throwing it back in to the water.


  • When travelling through Vietnam by bus I used a communal bathroom. By communal I mean a large square area with a tilting drainage system enabling a fabulous view of the person up stream’s waste as it ran trickled past you…


  • I illegally visited Senegal on a canoe trip where there were no boarder checks and the only person who knew I was there was the lady selling fish and rice in a wooden beach shack.


  • I went to volunteer as an English teacher in Iguazu, Brazil during the Swine Flu outbreak. There were no schools open or kids to teach.


  • My friend and I were very nearly fooled by two Gambian love rats. I have since read stories about how they often have several secret wives and fool British women for visas and I'm thankful that we had enough common sense not to let it go any further than a few Skype conversations.


  • I once became far too familiar with the toilet facilities in a Keralan furniture store. Let's just say we were not planning on purchasing any household items this day…


  • I had a panic attack on the top of a mountain. Evidentially I did not understand the meaning of the term ‘ridge’…


  • I went to Russia in February with a sleeveless jacket. My ‘Russian coat’ now takes up half of my wardrobe.


  • My friend and I booked accommodation for the 30th instead of the 31st December when attending the Hogmanay festival in Edinburgh. Desperate measures meant that we ended up sleeping in a shared house with random people for the night, which was a step up from the cold Scottish streets.


  • I went through a bit of a palm reading phase whilst traveling in South East Asia. There was one particular Indian yogi who was especially memorable based on his ability to name my mother’s name and the town I was from. It was only recently that my husband pointed out that he was based down the same street as the hostel I was staying in and that he had clearly got the information from them. The annoying thing is that I was so confident that he wouldn't know this information that I had agreed to pay £40 should he get it right. I was completely fooled!


  • I accidentally ate pigeon in Morocco. Be suspicious of ‘meat’ on the menu that looks similar to chicken!


  • I had a tattoo done with a bamboo needle in Koh Phi Phi after a couple of Changs. I woke up in the morning and instead of butterflies inked on my skin I had scary-looking bats. I raced back to the tattoo parlour and woke the staff up to fix it early in the morning before taking a boat to the mainland. I now have rather large (cover up) butterflies to tell the story.

 bamboo tattoo


As you can see, I'm not the perfect traveller, no travel blogger is despite the seam-free Instagram photos and endless ‘top tips’ blogs. We are only human at the end of the day, and we do just as many stupid or embarrassing things as the next person, we just might not always choose to write about them. I'd love to hear some of your stories- have you had any experiences similar to mine? Or maybe you have something completely different? Please leave your comments below!

Leave a comment
  1. Karen says:

    I also did the same with forgetting to tell my parents I was going. I did a bit worse: I told them I was going with a friend before confessing the night before that I was going totally solo to a country in SE Asia. My parents were not happy, but it worked out fine. 😉

  2. Haha, these are brilliant! My favourite is the friend in South Africa one – ‘just popping round to a friend’s house… on the other side of the world!’ Haha.

    Where I’m from (UK), eating pigeon isn’t a weird thing – we have it in a lot of fancy ‘gastropubs’ often with a balsamic reduction – yum 😛

    • Hayley says:

      Glad you liked it! I’m from the UK too but never heard of that! I’ll keep an eye out for pigeon on the menu now!!

  3. vannadee says:

    These are great stories full of amazing memories! Thanks for sharing them!

  4. majeang says:

    You have definitely lived girl! Great stories for your little one when they’re older!

  5. Virginia says:

    Great! I want to travel a lot in the near future.

  6. This is living! So inspiring!

  7. Vyjay Rao says:

    These are really some amazing moments and travel memories. These are the stuff that make travel so exciting. The moments, good, bad and downright ugly as well.

  8. Your life is filled with experiences and all of them so colorful. I’m a newbie blogger and just started traveling last year. I’ve had some nice experiences but after reading yours I just want to pack my bag and leave to the next destination. Travel is such a good teacher and a life of travel is a life fully lived. Great post. Loved each and every one of your experiences. Oh yes, congrats on becoming a new mom. You’ve got some amazing stories to tell the baby. God bless!

  9. Maria says:

    I would describe myself as clumsy, distracted and a few other adjectives. Thank you! You make me feel so much better 🙂
    Your post is really amusing and we all must thank you for being so candid. The best of luck with your baby.

  10. Liyana says:

    OMG…these are goals…to experience so many things..its just awesome!!

  11. These were to funny! Thanks for sharing

  12. This was really funny and quite interesting,too! I always love the tales that show the “other” side of travel. Sometimes I believe that people judge the travel life as easy and luxurious…but most of us don’t travel under lavish conditions at all. And of course, the point of our photos and our posts are to tell how fabulous life is. But, the truth is..every so often, it’s nice to reveal to others that life is still LIFE. It is not perfect, even it is worth it.

  13. Sarah says:

    I loved this post! The east Australia story made me laugh. You are lucky you only get a headache from wine. I get crazy migraines and get violently sick. The throw up story sounds familiar.

  14. dorina abrudan says:

    You have quite a list here!! And so much to come, for sure! Enjoy!

  15. Rawlins GLAM says:

    I admires you for all the things you have done especially going to a war-ridden country.

  16. Abigail says:

    Whoa! You had quite a list of experiences! The one about the hammerhead shark in Galapagos Island and the war in the Palestine was quite unreal! I bet you’re just glad you made it out of there alive.

  17. Nomad Nino says:

    This is hilarious! I have had many similar things happen to me before. Great inspiration to make a blog about it. THanks for the laugh…..I needed it.

  18. Sarah says:

    You are the perfect kind of crazy traveler I’d love to be around with! Haha! You sound like a real adventure seeker! I love it! I’ve got a few near-death and mad experiences I’d maybe share with the world one day!

  19. Agnes says:

    Awesome stories! I actually love little situations like these that maybe at the moment feel horrible but afterwards you cannot stop laughing about it. I think adds some spice to the travel experience and can be more valuable than the moments when everything was perfect. Thanks for making me laugh 🙂

  20. PackYourBaguios says:

    I teach ancient history, so I cringed a bit with the thought of someone climbing on the pyramids. But, I love your stories!

  21. Meg says:

    This is brilliant, you’ve had quite the experiences! Sometimes you have to just look back at something and laugh, even if you couldn’t at the time!

  22. OMG u r such a great traveller and own a lot of amazing experiences! I only went to Bangkok during 2014, and it was during curfew period, so we must get back to hotel before 8pm, and lots of army outside btw. Unforgettable memories in our life!!

  23. LOL love all your little tales!

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